Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers are perfect for parties and game day gatherings. They’re stuffed with cheesy goodness and wrapped in bacon which crisps in the oven as they bake.
In spite of all the cinnamon-spiced, pumpkin-filled things I have on the blog agenda, this savory bake has edged them all out to be my first published recipe of Fall 2021. The reason? First of all, it’s football time in Tennessee. I don’t watch the game, but my dad is a fan. And I enjoy making, sharing, and eating all kinds of game day food. Second (and perhaps more pressing) the jalapeno pepper plants in my little garden overfloweth.
The vegetables in my garden have been plentiful this year, but none more so than the jalapeno plants. They are so easy and fun to grow! Even now, when all the other plants are waning, the jalapenos are still going strong. I’ve let them grow on the vine too long, so now I have some really colossal peppers that need a purpose.
This recipe is it! It’s a party staple but you don’t need an excuse to make them. They are so easy to make, not too hot, and everyone seems to love them.
Grate a block of good extra-sharp cheddar instead of using the pre-shredded stuff, if you can. It blends with the cream cheese better and melts like a dream! The pre-shredded stuff will work in a pinch, but you’ll love how melty and bubbly the block cheese becomes.
Onion and garlic powders, along with freshly ground pepper add more savory flavor to the peppers. Some people leave those spices out, but they work a special magic on plain cream cheese. I say use them!
The seeds and ribs carry most of the heat in the pepper, so put on some gloves and scoop them out. Use a spoon or a curled finger to scrape the ribs out.
Once hollowed, fill them with the cheese mixture. Use the back of a spoon to press the mixture into the pepper cavities.
That’s a wrap!
Here’s my cheat. I use thin pre-cooked bacon. Hormel Black Label is what I keep on hand and it works well. It’s pliable enough for wrapping and crisps up perfectly by the time the peppers are cooked. If you prefer to use uncooked bacon make sure it’s THIN sliced.
This classic appetizer is so simple and really satisfying. My peppers were so big, I had to use two strips of bacon per pepper half. The recipe I’ve written calls for more normal-sized peppers that you can easily find at the grocery store, for a yield of 24 poppers.
These are so wonderful served with sour cream and a sprinkle of scallions or chives. I served these with the last of the garden’s cherry tomatoes. A fond farewell to summer.
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
- 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar block cheese preferred
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper about 12 turns from a grinder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 12 fresh whole jalapeno peppers each 3 inches long
- 12 slices uncooked thin sliced bacon or 24 thin slices pre-cooked bacon
- Sour cream for serving
- Scallions or chives for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil
Place the cream cheese, grated cheddar, garlic powder, onion powder, ground pepper and sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir together with a rubber spatula. Fold together several times to make sure all the ingredients are well dispersed. Cover and set aside.
Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise. Put on gloves and scoop the seeds and ribs out with fingers, or use a spoon to scrape them out. Place the hollowed pepper halves on the prepared baking sheet.
Fill the pepper halves with spoonsful of the cheese mixture, heaping them a little higher than the edges of the peppers (don’t overfill or the cheese will bubble out).
If using uncooked bacon, cut the slices in half so you have 24 pieces of bacon. Wrap each filled pepper with a bacon half so that the ends of the bacon meet underneath the peppers (seam-side-down, so to speak).
If using precooked bacon, wrap one whole piece of bacon around each filled pepper so that the bacon ends meet underneath the peppers.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the bacon is browned and the peppers are softened.
Serve peppers warm with sour cream and chives. These are also great at room temperature.
Larger or smaller peppers will change the yield of the recipe. My peppers were huge, but were still fully cooked at 20 minutes.
Bacon pieces can be secured with toothpicks prior to baking, if they don’t want to stay put.